Gamera vs. Viras Talkback

Spinning flame-jetted turtles, space birds being chopped up like bologna, kids in shorts screaming for help...the original Gamera series was a strange mix of wacky fun!! The 90's Gamera films set a standard that other kaiju films are measured against! Discuss Gamera films here!!

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Gamera vs. Viras Talkback

Postby king_ghidorah » Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:34 pm

The Basics: Aliens plot to invade the Earth (Why? Because they are EVIL and that's what aliens do!) Masao and his young gajin friend Jim end up getting trapped in an alien ship and it's up to Gamera to save them! Meanwhile, the aliens probe Gamera's memory banks looking for weaknesses to stop the giant turtle resulting in a seemingly endless amount of stock footage...

The Plot: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamera_vs._Viras


The Kaiju:

Gamera: He's pretty much unchanged since the last film.

Viras: An interesting kaiju, but I wouldn't call him one of my favorites. I do think he's better executed here than Gezora years later.


The Acting: Nothing special. The children of this film are less annoying than in Zigra, but not as fun as the ones in Guiron.

The SPFX: I love the spaceship in this film as well as the creepy, glowing eyes of the aliens. There aren't really any minatures worth pointing out.

The Other Stuff:

-I have a few editions of this film, Shouts! is easily the best but the semi legal one with the commentary by Carl Craig is pretty cool too. It's from that commentary that I learned one of the head aliens is also the same guy inside the Daimajin suit. That's a pretty cool bit of trivia there :D

-Gamera's thoughts...a great way to show past battles but it's execution is sloppy. It goes on for far too long and it's jarring to see the switch from color to the black and white footage of the original film

-This film was supposedly Noriaki's favorite Gamera film even though most fans hate it

-Overall, I like this film. It could have been a lot better had it not been for the abundance of stock footage...oh well, as is, it's still better than Zigra and miles better than Supermonster

Edit* I'd also like to say that I think this film could have been better than Gyoas had it not been hampered by the crazy amount of stock footage. I was actually engaged in the human plot of the children while they were in the spaceship...I cared more about the humans in this film than I did in Gyaos.
Last edited by king_ghidorah on Sun Sep 18, 2011 5:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby kiryugoji04 » Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:36 pm

.............. where's Gamera Vs Gyaos?
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Postby king_ghidorah » Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:49 pm

kiryugoji04 wrote:.............. where's Gamera Vs Gyaos?


I watched them both back to back :D . Viras was last and fresh on the brain so I did it first. The Gyaos thread is up now :wink:
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Postby heroforhirerob » Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:15 pm

This one is okay. When they actually just stick to the regular plot...it's watchable. The incredible amount of stock footage is ridiculous....even worse than Godzilla vs Megalon. The two kids are ok, but their antics would have gotten them grounded for...well...their whole life in any semi realistic setting. Viras looks ok, but his defeat is rather anticlimatic...and also a bit hard to tell exactly what happened to him. I guess he either suffocated or was frozen to death..or both. Again, a bit hard to tell. That said, this one isn't awful or anything.
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Postby ryuuseipro » Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:23 pm

heroforhirerob wrote:This one is okay. When they actually just stick to the regular plot...it's watchable. The incredible amount of stock footage is ridiculous....even worse than Godzilla vs Megalon. The two kids are ok, but their antics would have gotten them grounded for...well...their whole life in any semi realistic setting. Viras looks ok, but his defeat is rather anticlimatic...and also a bit hard to tell exactly what happened to him. I guess he either suffocated or was frozen to death..or both. Again, a bit hard to tell. That said, this one isn't awful or anything.


Viras was so frozen from Gamera's spinning high in the sky, he was reduced to practically dry ice or liquid nitrogen, and dissolved in the ocean. Pretty brutal death!
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yes

Postby Xenorama » Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:15 am

Viras is my favorite Gamera foe, as he is far smarter than most of the other alien invaders. and he's much cooler looking that Gyaos.

I do wish the "flashback" footage was a bit shorter, but when I saw it for the first time in the late 70s it was cool to see the two "new" monsters. there was no home video back then, so I didn't mind it at all.

now the padding is obvious. I don't think the flashback footage is quite as long in the Japanese version.

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Postby MekaGojira3k » Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:44 pm

This movie is actually kind of fine until STOCK FOOTAGE: THE MOVIE, cuts in. I'm not pleased with the more obvious "THESE KIDS ARE GONNA BE A BIG PART OF THIS" tone the movies post Gyaos embrace, but there's some neat stuff in here. In fact, the Viras spaceship is one of the coolest spaceships in ALL the history of scifi films. It'd definitely be in my top 10.
I love the weird alien/human things in the spaceship. I also love the opening with Gamera truly being a proactive defender of Earth. Viras himself isn't really a favorite design of mine.

The film is okay, but it loses me early on, and does little to get me back on board.
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Postby MouthForWar » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:45 pm

I like this one just fine. The stock footage gets old fast and messes with the pace, but aside from that, this is a fun one. The kids (and really all the humans) are pretty unmemorable, but the aliens and their ship are awesome, and I really like Viras as a kaiju.
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Postby Legion » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:50 pm

This is really the only "VS" film that's truly more about Gamera than it is about the enemy monster. I like that.
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Postby ryuuseipro » Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:43 am

This is my personal favorite Gamera movie. The first of the more cheery adventures we've come to know and love (depending on the viewer's point of view), considering the dark tone of all previous films! It's a great introduction to Gamera (for those who haven't seen the previous movies), and the climactic fight is insanely wild.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Carl Craig (who played boy scout Jim Morgan, the first Caucasian kid in a Gamera film) at Asian Fantasy Film Expo 2002. My family and I had great fun listening to his commentary while watching the film! He was a really down-to-earth guy with a great sense of humor. I also got an autograph from him.

And Viras is one of my favorite Gamera foes of all time (along with Gyaos and Guillon)! BTW, did anyone notice that Viras has a face just like a beaked version of Balok from Star Trek? :)
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Postby The Real McCoy » Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:18 pm

The ten+ clip of stock footage in the movie was about the only thing that bothered me about this film. Unlike the two previous versus films, Gamera has more screen time. Plus, the humans are kind of fun, and the kids aren't nearly as annoying as they would be in later entries. Probably third or fourth on my favorite Gamera movie list.
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Postby kiryugoji04 » Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:25 am

Didn't I already post somewhere that I think Yuasa was the worst director the Gamera series had? I can't find the post but I think I did.

Anyway, yeah. This movie solidified that opinion for me. On the bright side, this was the first film where the "Friend of All Children" aspect felt natural and not incredibly forced as in Gamera and Gyaos (UGH, YUASA, STOP THAT) and the race between Gamera and the sub was delightful! Then the stock footage hit and BAM, I came THIS CLOSE to going unconscious. I realize the budget was slashed and all but Godzilla's Revenge is on of my favorite Toho films! And GIGAN IS MY FAVORITE FILM OF ALL TIME, so stock footage in and of itself does not bother me necessarily. Yuasa, however, doesn't know how to use stock footage well and all and his lifting scenes whole from previous films with little to no effort to integrate them into the film in an interesting way just kills it for me. I think this film would've been helped IMMENSELY if it had gone the Godzilla Vs. the Sea Monster/Son of Godzilla island film route instead of insisting on city destruction that it could never deliver.

I think all future viewings of this film by me will end once the aliens show up to capture Gamera. The 20 minutes up to that point come pretty close to making a nice, standalone little short film anyway.
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Postby Benjamin Haines » Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:39 am

I didn't like this one at all when I first saw it. Several years later, and with a quality presentation, that hasn't changed. Though not without its fun moments here and there, this movie for the most part is just dull. To me, these are the most annoying kids of the first seven movies. The part where they volunteer to sacrifice themselves for the world and the way Jim's parents react is hilariously melodramatic, and the decision by the United Nations to sacrifice all of humanity to save two boys is just ludicrous. The way the kids instantly know exactly which parts of the spaceship to switch around in order to foil the aliens is a real eye-roller. Just because a movie is made for kids doesn't mean the story needs to be dumbed down.

This has to be one of the worst applications of stock footage in any kaiju film. The 10+ minute flashback to Gamera, Barugon and Gyaos when the aliens are scanning Gamera's brain was bad enough, but then later we see stock footage from THOSE SAME MOVIES passed off as "present" footage of Gamera rampaging under alien control. The use of barely tinted black-and-white scenes from the original film amid the vividly colored new footage makes the day-for-night stock footage in Godzilla vs. Gigan look good. Having aliens blackmail Gamera into rampaging is a cool story idea, but it's wasted on a production as cheap as this.

The aliens here are actually pretty creepy, with the way their eyes glow in silhouette and the otherworldly manner in which they float down the corridors of the spaceship. The notion of the Viras monster in the cage seeming like an imprisoned animal but turning out to be the alien commander is an interesting twist, but it's undermined by a scene that makes no sense in context. When the kids rush in and tell the aliens that the monster has escaped, they all rush off to tend to the situation. Why would that even concern them if the monster is their boss and has the power to release itself at will? There's no internal logic there. The scene where he beheads all of his minions is awesome.

Viras is a creative, cool-looking monster and his fight with Gamera is well done. The part where Viras impales him multiple times and leaves a gigantic hole in his stomach looks like it should have killed him, but he ends up carrying Viras through the air and defeating him while still impaled. The monsters in Gamera films seem to all die in really morbid ways, and usually onscreen. I approve.

The ending with the kids is funny as hell. "Oh, your shenanigans ended up saving the world, and we're so thankful that you're still alive after being held hostage by aliens, but you still caused some mischief back at the beginning of the movie, so you don't get any dinner tonight."

This is a bad movie, and aside from a handful of memorable moments, it's boring to watch. A total dud.


:th-dn:


The subtitles on the Shout! DVD are a mess. I noticed a few instances where they mistakenly pasted the movie's time code as part of the lines (actually about 20 seconds off).

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Postby king_ghidorah » Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:07 pm

Ben...I simply cannot agree with you about this film :lol:
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Postby Dr Kain » Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:13 pm

Oh boy, where do I start? I cannot express how much I dislike this movie, which is a shame, becuase I think Viras is the coolest of the Showa Gamera monsters. I love Viras' design, but everything else in this movie works against him. I cannot stand the children (although, I cannot believe the American kid is actually speaking fluent Japanese), I do not like the aliens, but ultimately, that is not what hurts the movie for me. The first thing that hurts this movie is how boring it is. Nothing really happens for an hour, and the bland music does not help. However, the worst offender for me is the freaking stockfootage. Did we really need 12 minutes of battle footage from Barugon and Gyaos in an 82 minute movie? Then you add that every scene when Gamera is under Viras' control is more stock footage poorly edited together between his rampages from Barugon and the original movie. They do not fit together, especially when the black and white footage is a blue tint and the Barugon footage is in color, you can tell which is which. This movie could have been so much more, and it was half assed as if the people behind it had no idea what to do, but had to make another Gamera movie. It is awful because the end battle feels more like a mid-movie battle than anything else. I wish I could say this is the worst of the series, but alas, I cannot not. Again, it s a shame though, because I really like the design for Viras.

Oh yeah, and this movie is probably the worst offender of the horrible subtitles. I mean, all of these movies' subs are bad, but this one takes the cake.
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Postby king_ghidorah » Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:46 pm

I watched this again last night...I really have no idea what's going on with the "boss" Viras being locked in a cage and seemingly being held prisoner. WTF
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Postby heroforhirerob » Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:25 pm

king_ghidorah wrote:I watched this again last night...I really have no idea what's going on with the "boss" Viras being locked in a cage and seemingly being held prisoner. WTF


Yeah....seems a little too much work just to fool a couple children for a little while. heh
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Postby king_ghidorah » Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:39 pm

Yeah it just doesn't make any sense...how ever you try to explain it
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Postby Dr Kain » Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:49 pm

I think the bit for that that does not work for me is when the kids yell something like, "Help, the monster in the cage got out." You would think they would know that is not really a monster, and that there was no point in running to that room.
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Postby king_ghidorah » Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:51 pm

There's just nothing about that scene that makes sense honestly..
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Postby kiryugoji04 » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:28 am

The publicity still of the KIDS being in the cage, menaced by the Viras aliens and with their scout leader trying to save them is probably more interesting than the entirety of the final film, sans Gamera racing with the mini-sub.
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Postby The Real McCoy » Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:42 pm

Hadn't seen this one in a while, so I gave it a watch last night. I'm not going to go into a big review, but I'll just say that I still enjoy this movie as much as I ever did before. Sure, everything about it is dumb, but it's just too much fun for me to hate it.
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Postby MekaGojira3k » Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:20 am

I never have any fun with this movie. I think vs. Guiron is the only post-Gyaos Showa Gamera film that I think is pretty terrible but still a great deal of fun.

I think the only thing I loathe more than vs. Viras is Super Monster.
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Postby lhb412 » Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:03 pm

If you disregard all the stock footage then this is a fairly short, almost unsubstantial but otherwise enjoyable kids monster movie.

When you regard the stock footage: this is the worst integration of stock footage since The Robot vs. The Aztec Mummy and it really kills it.
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Re: Gamera vs. Viras Talkback

Postby Gwangi » Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:41 am

First Gamera movie I ever say way back when in the 1970s on KTLA Channel 5. Ultimately, this is my favorite of all Gamera films. Stock footage never bothered me. I would only see those other movies several years later (and Gamera vs. Barugon just once!).

The Viras spaceship is my all time favorite alien spacecraft in any movie (and that includes the Star Wars films).

Viras was a cool looking monster, the two boys were quite likeable and just thought it was neat for them having the freedom to explore the whole spaceship.

Of course, to me it will always be known as "Destroy All Planets".
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